Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Law of The Inner Circle

Written by John C Maxwell, the guru in Leadership Skills, The Law of Inner Circle teaches us that the leader's potential is determined by those closest to him, or her. I have always find this to be very true. Why? Simply because we can't be doing everything ourselves! Truly, no man is an island and we need to depend on others. No doubt many of us know this very fact. But what is strange and surprising to this day is that we still fail to develop people!
Not too long ago in Malaysia, there was a huge unemployment crisis. Fresh graduates from universities were unable to find jobs. Many reasons were sighted for this but that is not the point of this mini article. There was one Human Resource Manager of some bigshot company who publicly stated that the Company is looking for someone who can do the work, not someone who needs to be trained to do the work. What a wrong mentality!!! And to think it came from a Human Resource Manager!!! Absurdity to the fullest extent.
Emotionally, I remembered when I first started working. I couldn't tell which button to operate the high tech photocopier machine. I have no idea how to do my job. And there was no one to guide me until my first "sifu" (or mentor) came to my rescue. He built my foundation of knowledge. Had he not taught me, I would have stuck in the rot for years. His condition for mentoring me at that time was only one - to mentor others when my time to mentor arise. I am proud to say that today I am following his footsteps to mentor others while still in my apprenticeship.
Many who were forced to learn by themselves, not unlike the organisation which I am in now - a Multinational Company (MNC), have the mentality that if they needed to learn by themselves, so others need to do the same. They are not about to "spoonfeed" nor teach anyone. The selfish world has taught them to be selfish as well. They have forgotten how good it would have been if there was someone who are willing to train them.
Impact? These selfish people will go nowhere, or at least I believe so. There will be no more further promotion as the management would be able to see (hopefully) their selfish nature of not developing people. Furthermore, if these people are promoted, what example would it serve?
There are many other famous people who advocates the same notion - W Steven Brown, the author of 13 Fatal Errors Managers Make & How You Can Avoid Them, also the President of The Fortune Group talks about Failure to Develop People. Robert Kiyosaki or Rich Dad Poor Dad fame, never fails to ask participants of his seminar to list 6 people that are closest to them - these 6 people are the future of the person. Steven R Covey, author of the renowned classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People came with his sequel - The 8th Habit which is essentially talking about bringing the best in people.

I grew up watching Chinese Kung Fu movies. And in the movies, the master never, never ever teaches his apprentice all his techniques for fear the apprentice would betray him. And it is a true happening in China. What happened? Generation by generation, due to the selfishness of the masters, knowledge and skills dwindles. Forget about progress. Think going backwards.
Are you guilty of failing to develop your people?
Will you start developing them?
I certainly hope so...


Anonymous said...

I trully agree some Human Resource Manager just can publicly stated on their advertisement and told the applicants that way:

"There are no bonds or contracts involved in this program. This is not a school or a training program. This is a job with real responsibilities and with real work deadlines that have to be delivered on a very frequent basis."

What's wrong with that..Lets think.

Anonymous said...

im pretty lucky to hv kind hearted boss who is willing to understand my stupidity as a fresh grad..

sometimes, we need to be taught.

Maxforce said...

My dear anonymous friend, there is a lot of things that is wrong with that statement actually.
1. It gives the interviewee the impression that the organisation does not care about the members.
People say, take care of your customers, otherwise somebody else will! The same goes to your employees. If you do not take care of your employees then somebody else will.
2. We often forget that it is the employee that will take care of your customers. If you do not take care of your employees, do you think that they will take care of your customers?
3. Promotions and progression in your career. If you do not train your staff, the management will not promote you. Simply because there is no successor. And especially since you re doing so good a damn job in whatever you re doing now and there is no one else to do a hell of a job as you.
4. Motivation and loyalty. We expect a lot from the staff. If we do not motivate them through ensuring their learning and growth are in order, then they will not be motivated and be loyal to the company. You d get a half assed job. It is the duty of the management and HR to ensure that all members of the organisation are motivated and remain loyal to the company. If staff turnover are high, then the management and HR has failed.
Let us not forget that every member of the organisation represents and carries the organisation's image with them.

Maxforce said...

Everyone starts as a freshie, even your kind hearted boss. No worries about it. But your kind hearted boss remembers how it was like when he/she was a freshie. Yeah in this world of 3rd world mentality and full of selfishness, it is quite lucky to have found a boss like yours.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Max. This is Khian Sin.
Got your message and read all of the above comments. Well, support you.

Cakpong, you are glad to have a kind hearted boss. Move your way up and grow with your boss, it is not easy to get a good boss like you.

To me, all bosses are the same. They expect their staff to perform the fullest, and do whatever they want you to do. But expected the results to turn best. So that he can get promotion, but not you.

I have a bad experiences, with 4 different bosses during a span of 2 job experiences.

My first job, I reported to 3 different bosses, that have different comments and experiences.

First one with 25 years experiences, old and china man type, able to persuade me and I salute all his comments, I follow without having to think twice.

Second one, with 15 years of experiences, lady boss and need you to be a good follower, I listen to her only after I consult the first one.

Third one, with only 8 years experiences, Indian, expect his staff to do all his job, and take initiative to bring results to him to show to his boss, within an hour or two. Always rushing us only to deliver the numbers. And dont care on the details.

Fourth one is the one, who I do not want to blame him anymore, as he changed all my future coz of his lie, I just screw him up. I dont know what he want. And he doesnt want to listen to any of the comments aired by his staff.

One once told me: "You cannot discover new oceans unless you have a courage to lose the sight of the shore".

Well, God knows. I need to start all over again...

Maxforce said...

Sad to hear the sad experiences you've gone through. But if you think about it, it only reinforces what I am preaching here.
A bad boss like the ones you have described would not be able to retain your loyalty. In the end, the organisation suffers as it loses human capital.
Anyway, like a friend used to say to me, let's look for a better tomorrow.

David said...

I like the quote, "For a better tomorrow", nice ring to it and perfect cheers to go with alcohol.


Anonymous said...

Now what we are having is oppresion
from the employer.The reason simply we need money, they need ppl to work.And he pays the salary so he decides how much you worth. Even he pays u little he still EXPECT more. Come to think of it,even its a toilet washer job,the employer would want to choose the best out of the best,if u can wash the toilet and repair the toilet BETTER still.And if u can do much more things.Then the employer will be hoping and EXPECTING more but dont expect ur salary will be increased.
Why there is so many undergraduates cant find job.Simply for me the reason will be like attitude prob, sometimes u r good but u dont know how to be good in an interview.. Not only must have the right kind of attitude,being persuasive, otivational also must be confident during interview.
Never forget we (employee) and the employer have the same bargaining power. Not necessary he decides how much to pay. We should demand how much we should be paid. (although it would not be exactly or fair amount) Still if u r confident and think you are good enough,why not the company pays u the amount. Tell him how can u contribute to the company not just short term and long term.If cannot,then MOVE ON...there are still plenty OPPORTUNITY waiting for u (flip in newspapers, obstreets..)

Maxforce said...

Well said and the positive reaction to the "oppression" is most commendable and certainly worthy of being labelled as a World Class Mentality.